No word yet on what caused a blade to break apart on a wind turbine at the Waymart Wind Farm, Monday afternoon.
Two blades on the three-bladed rotor remained intact, but one delaminated, meaning its fiberglass layers came apart. “This is on private property. No one was injured,” says Steve Stengel, a spokesperson for FPL Energy which owns the wind farm. Calling them a sophisticated machine, Stengel said, “When the turbine senses something is wrong, it has the ability to shut down,” he said. That’s exactly what this one did, he said.
“Those turbines are monitored on a real-time basis …there was a notification that the turbine was not generating power anymore,” he said. Most of the third blade is gone, Stengel said, with the pieces falling to the ground not far from the base.
“Our team is working to determine the root cause of the blade failure,” Stengel said. He says it’s an isolated incident. “The type of turbine that this is – this hasn’t happened previously in our fleet,” he said. Stengel says it’s a GE 1.5 megawatt turbine. “We have hundreds of those across the Country,” he said.
Each blade is over 100 feet long and are approximately 200 feet off the ground.
South Canaan resident Ann Bianchi said she saw it flopping in the wind Tuesday. “I just noticed it …when I was going to see my son …When you get up close them, they are so big,” she said. Carole Grodack of Lake Ariel, who stood talking with Bianchi at the South Canaan post office said, “I didn’t see it. I didn’t know it was flopping. I think they’re majestic. They’re awesome …We have to start finding alternative energy,” she said.
A total of 43 wind turbines line the Moosic Mountain Ridge. The 1.5 megawatt Waymart Wind Farm was completed in 2003.
By Tammy Compton
6 December 2007
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